Going to Sit This One Out…Really?!

I’m in a mood.  Perhaps, it is because I desperately need a vacation.  Maybe, it is because this weekend is super busy for me and I don’t have much time to get things done.  Nonetheless, my mood did not improve as I ventured around Duran message boards.  It seems that there are a fair number of posters who are either not planning on buying the live dvd and/or are not planning to go to any shows, if Duran comes back to their part of the States.  What was the reasoning?  It isn’t lack of money, which would make sense to me.  It is because of the setlists that these people felt are “tired” and/or “boring”.  I’ll be the first to admit that I complain about hearing songs like Come Undone for 151st time but I can’t imagine not going to a show or not buying a dvd because of it.  To me, there is way more to a show than a setlist!  It also seems to me that people did not learn a valuable lesson last year and from other fans.

Let’s start with the premise.  Is the current setlist “tired” or “boring”?  In order to decide that, we need to analyze a current one.  Just today the band played in Singapore and here was the setlist:  Before the Rain, Planet Earth, A View to a Kill, All You Need is Now, Reflex, Come Undone, Safe, Notorious, Girl Panic, Leopard, Is There Something I Should Know, White Lines, Ordinary World, Hungry like the Wolf, Sunrise, Wild Boys, Girls on Film and Rio.  How many of those songs are standards?  I would say 11 are standards in that they play them at pretty much most of the shows.  These songs include their biggest hits from the Reflex to A View to a Kill to Rio to Girls on Film.  Then, they are playing a bunch of songs off of the new album.  This makes sense to me.  After all, isn’t the live show to advertise their current work?  I think so.  The argument could be made that they could mix those up some or choose different one.  Anyway, as of now, there are 5 new tracks on there.  That totals 16.  After that, there are a couple of songs that they seem to play for a tour and then remove, which included Is There Something I Should Know and White Lines.  That’s really it.  This setlist would equal about 2 hours.  The time playing seems fair to me.  So, the question then comes in, do they have to play so many hits?  That is debatable.  On one hand, they aren’t playing to crowds who are hardcore Duranies who own every album and who are dying to hear obscure album tracks.  They just aren’t.  So, if they don’t play any of the hits, they run the risk of alienating most of the crowd.  Could they exchange one or two hits for something a bit more unusual?  Sure.  I would like that.  Many others would to.  That said, while many of us would like something different instead of whatever track or tracks you are most sick of, there is a reason that they put setlists together like that.  I get it and accept it.  Besides to me, there is way more to a show than just the setlist.

As I explained in an earlier blog, which can be read here, there are many other factors that determine a great show for me.  Some of these other elements include the crowd, the people I’m with, and where I’m sitting.  The other most important factor that these fans seem to forget is the band.  Do they think the setlist is tired?  Are they sick of it?  More to the point, if they are sick of it, does it show?  Do they lack energy?  Do they seem not to care?  If the band comes out on stage and has a tremendous amount of energy, to me, I feed off of them.  My energy increases even with songs I’m sick of.  Goodness knows, Rhonda and I actually enjoyed Hungry in the UK and we are way sick of that one!  Do these fans really trust Duran Duran so little?  Do they really think that they can’t perform well enough, no matter if the setlist is old or not?  To me, that doesn’t seem very fan-like. 

The other part about this kind of attitude that doesn’t sit well with me is the lesson I have learned over the past year.  Last year, in May, Simon lost a third of his vocal range.  Many, many shows were canceled.  Shows I had tickets to were canceled.  I honestly didn’t know if he would ever be able to sick again.  To tell the truth, I really didn’t think he would be able to sing again.  On top of that, I truly get now that there are many, many fans who desperately want to see Duran Duran perform live, but haven’t been able to or can’t for whatever reason.  For those people, they don’t care what the setlist is.  They don’t care if some of us are sick of Hungry like the Wolf because they have never seen it performed once.  They might love to see it.  Of course, I see this attitude within the fandom on other topics besides the setlists.  I see people get annoyed at the venue choice.  I see people who can and are able to travel reasonably refuse to do it for some reason or another.  People just seem to want everything their way.  While I can understand having some demands, I don’t understand people who think that they should be able to decide everything when it comes to their fandom.  I mean…really…wouldn’t we all like Duran Duran to come place at our houses and play the setlist we give them.  I know I would, but I also understand that this will never happen.  

I guess my point is this.  Why not enjoy what you have as a fan?  Why try to be that picky about something as small as the setlist or whatever?  If you are able to get to a show, go and enjoy it.  Other people would love to be in that situation.  After all, you never know when it is going to end. 

-A


13 thoughts on “Going to Sit This One Out…Really?!”

  1. Amanda,
    often I see that many fans think that the band is their property. They want the band to be that way or do what they want. But I think loving a band should be like loving a friend. We should love him for what it gave us and for what it is not what we want it to be. The set list especialy is a tricky one because they have done so many great song that we can't have everything we would love to hear. We want to hear the big success, we want to hear the new tunes and we want to hear some more rare songs. But I have to say that each time I had the luck to see them I was blown away by the quality and the feeling. For me each time it's a happening. I night with my longtime friends Duran Duran.

    Pat

  2. My feeling about the set list is simply that yeah, I wish they'd play some special shows or something where we could hear the songs less played. Sure I do. I also wish I could just sit onstage, have backstage passes and maybe even help tune Dom's guitar.

    (ok so that last one is a bit of a stretch)

    The thing is, the setlist wouldn't seem like a bore if I only went to one show each tour – each ENTIRE tour. I don't though. I go to more than a few if I can. So it's my own fault, and I take my punishment in the form of having Dom wink and laugh at me when he plays HLTW. *sigh* It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. And hey, if people don't want to go to the US shows due to the set – that's fine. More chances for good tickets for me! -R

  3. After hearing the stories of others who don't get shows at all, I just can't really complain about the set lists. I know how hard it is to prepare a bunch of different songs, even if they have been playing them for years, so I understand why the set list on a tour is basically the same with a few curve balls now and then. (I feel so lucky to have been one of the few to hear Secret Oktober live.)

    I would be so amazing if the band could/would treat Duranies to special intimate concerts (like the rehearsal shows) where they could do some of the “non-commercial-hit” songs. More B-sides, for sure. I personally can live without tunes from the one-Taylor (and no-Taylor) years, but I'd be okay if they played them on tour. Maybe they'd spark something in me if I heard them live.

    Rhonda – I came across a live recording of Hungry Like the Wolf the other day that was a completely different arrangement. It caught me by surprise because before it begins Simon says something like, “Big f-off world” LOL… it's a slower, sexier sound. Do you know the one I'm talking about? I liked it because it was different.

    All she wants is… all she wants is… all she wants is… DURAN LIVE!

  4. I totally agree.I'm extremely greatful, after stumbling across them 30 yrs ago that I still have the opportunity to see them play live and play songs I grew up listening too. They were and always will be my favorite band. Long Live Duran Duran's music!!!!

  5. Having been to only just 2 shows in my 30+ years of being a Duranie,I would be the last person in the world to complain about something as trivial as a setlist. To me,unless you are in the band,do you have ANY kind of say as to what songs are going to be played for the tour. We,as fans are just content,or not,to listen and enjoy for the 2 hours we paid to see. If people are gonna be nitpicky over this,then you should just stop being a fan and let people who haven't had the chance to see them enjoy themselves. I agree with what you said about it going to end. When it does,and we all know it will at some point,those who complained and whined about it will be the ones who wished they changed their tune. While we will be sitting in our rocking chairs telling the stories,”I remember when I saw them back in…..” and remembering the good times we had.

  6. I can only clap loudly and say “Bravo!” to that, because I agree. Even the songs I never really listen to on their own anymore, like The Reflex, I always enjoy it live. They put on a such a great show and those songs are, I think, FUN live. They are songs the crowd largely gets into, dance and clap and jump up and down. Reach Up for the Sunrise isn't exactly a complicated song but it's so much fun live which is why I think they still play it, it gets a great crowd reaction, it's upbeat and positive.

    To be honest “setlist” has never been an issue for me, no matter what act I'm going to see. I'm going to see a band play their songs, whatever songs, live. I'm more concerned with how those songs sound live and what kind of show the band puts on and the crowd itself than I am about what specific songs are played.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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